By Jenny Jones of Life’s a Polyp
It can be unsettlingly easy for life to beat us down as we blissfully go about our daily lives, unaware of what is occurring in the background. I recently found myself deep within a well of depression and heartache, looking up in a confused, disoriented daze, wondering just how the events of this year had come to be. How could I be so foolish, so trusting, so easily deceived?
Lies and mistrust had grown within my marriage. As I fought my way through the darkness of depression and grieving of my marriage, I survived on the support of friends and family—new and old. Yet when I needed support the most, a handful of my most dearly cherished support suddenly and unexplainably exited my life. My mind was consumed with wonderings of why these individuals had abandoned me, what had I done so wrong, and how this happened. I was caught in a whirlwind of emotions and disbelief.
My soul was left broken. With my breaking point reached, I was thrown into a fire that would transform and free my soul. Such a fire can’t be confined to a mere few moments in time—not if we submit ourselves to the process. When we submit, the transformation truly begins, and it may become a lifelong, marvelous journey.
I’m now seeing traces of smoke filtering in amongst the flames that surround me. Through this transformation, I am constantly finding new horizons and restrictions to break. The flames continue their busy work of burning my outer layers to allow my soul to shine and to shine brightly. And thanks to these flames, I’m happier with myself and freer than I’ve been in years.
These flames are teaching me to let go and not worry, particularly about the effects of others upon me. I’m discovering a freedom from the restraints we often allow others to place upon us. We can learn to no longer allow others to control us, our actions or moods.
Instead of setting goals based on others, I’m setting my own life goals and pursuing them with tenacity, intensity, and fierceness. I learned by no longer letting another control my life’s direction that the restraints are broken and life realigns. I’ve become focused, discovering what is most important to me and establishing my own standards for living. Such self-discovery leads us to intense happiness and freedom—the levels of which are not known when we bow to the standards of others rather than our own.
I realized I can and will survive on my own without others. I never thought of myself as an independent woman until this revelation was nearly forced upon me.
I became overfilled with strength and pride with such a powerful revelation. Independence is not merely financial independence. There is so much more to being independent. Ask yourself, do you feel able to survive the loss of those dearest to you? What about the emptiness that can be summoned when we lose someone physically and emotionally though they remain living?
My world felt as though it was crashing in around me with such non-death losses. I felt I had lost a part of me and perhaps I had in the process of giving a part of myself to those I loved. When forced to the brink, we learn we can survive any loss regardless of severity and difficulty. This doesn’t mean we become cold-hearted. Far from it, we simply are able to harness our inner strength rather than solely relying on the strength of others.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Page 2″ ]
I’m learning to no longer submit to the opinions of others. When we lose respect for someone, that person’s opinion no longer means anything anyway. We don’t need to waste ourselves on those who have already lost our respect. Instead, let’s cherish those who are true to us—those who are supportive, caring, and present through the brightest and darkest times of our lives—not those who try to create dark times and harm us with malicious intent and manipulations. Let us not succumb to the power of others, especially when it is a harmful power.
I’m learning to not take the dangerous, personal issues of others on as my own. People will attempt and succeed at betraying, manipulating, deceiving, and harming us. The reasons for others to inflict such pain on another is deep seated within them. Let’s not waste energy trying to decipher the reasons behind their harmful actions. Their reasons don’t need to make sense. Their reasons are just that, theirs. Not yours. We don’t need to take on more pain simply because another is engaging in harmful behavior towards us.
I started doing what I’ve longed to do but was too scared to commit to previously. There’s immense freedom in letting our inhibitions go and doing what we’ve always wanted to accomplish. We refrain ourselves when we worry about the judgements of others or don’t think we have the strength within us. Forget that and jump in. There are personal challenges our spirits are drawn to. Our spirits gravitate us toward such challenges and won’t let us forget about it, even if we bury it for years under fear and inhibitions. That unceasing tug is your spirit speaking to you; it may speak softly or scream at you, forcing your attention. Let your shield down, accept a self-challenge, and let yourself be free.
Whatever the source is for your fire, it will be a long process of adjustment as your outer layers become scorched and the pain sears your soul. Turmoil presents itself with a variety of emotions and stages, often sending us bouncing back and forth amongst them all repeatedly before we finally find our footing enough to begin to walk a level path through the flames. As the outer layers begin to crack, forcing us to think our minds will crack as well, we will want to speed along the process and jump to the end simply to lessen the pain. It’s okay that this is a lengthy process, for it is through this time that we’re provided the opportunities to discover more about ourselves, healing and freeing ourselves from the captivity of the world. The pain will be unbearable at times, but the rewards of true independence and freedom are vast.
Let yourself fully feel all your emotions. Surrender to them as you claim the strength that lies deep within your being — strength you had yet to harness before — and burst from the flames as the warrior you were destined to become.[/nextpage]
About the Author
Jenny was diagnosed with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis at age 8 and after 6 years with an ileostomy now has a Straight Pull Thru. She has a Masters degree in Social Work and shares on her personal blog lifesapolyp.blogspot.com.